Wednesday, August 17, 2005

10 useful tips on saving on fuel, and your pocket

I receive this chain mail in my inbox this morning, which is relevant to the situation that we are in now.

Tips to save Petrol( to break-even the 10 sen raised ).

1) Pump up your tyres.

Keeping your tyres inflated is one of the easiest and most important things. Saving petrol means saving money one can do to improve fuel economy. If a range is recommended by the manufacturer, the higher pressure should beused to maximize fuel efficiency.

Deflated tyres run hot and jeopardize safety. It will also cause the tyres to wear out prematurely, affect the vehicles adversely, and hurt the fuel economy by increasing therolling resistance. Tyres lose about 1 psi pressure per month due to air loss caused by the tyre hitting holes, bumps and kerbs.

Therefore, the tyres should be checked at least once a month. Just 1 tyre deflated by 2 psi will result in a 1% increase in fuelconsumption.

2) Drive at moderate speed.

Avoiding high speeds on open roads results in safer driving and better fueleconomy. In highway driving, over 50% of the power produced by the engine is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.

Drag and thus fuel consumption increases rapidlyat speeds above 90km/h. On the average, a car uses about 15% more fuel at100km/h, and 25% more fuel at 110km/h compared to when it is doing only 90km/h.

However, this should not lead one to conclude that the lower the speed, thebetter the fuel economy because it is not. The fuel consumption of an average car increases sharply at speeds below 50km/h.

3) Clean the air-filter regularly

Clogged air filters increase fuel consumption by restricting airflow to theengine, and thus should be cleaned/replaced when necessary. Clogged airfilters can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.

4) Use thinner tyres

Tyres with thick width will improve the handling of your car. However, it will also increase your car's fuel consumption. Thicker tyres mean more rolling resistance! , and thus will consume more fuel.

5) Start up the car properly

With today's cars, it is not necessary to prime the engine first by pumpingthe accelerator pedal repeatedly. Do not crank the engine excessively. This only wastes fuel.

When starting theengine, idle it no more than 30 seconds to warm it up.An engine will warm up faster on the road.

However, avoid suddenacceleration before the engine has warmed up sufficiently.

6) Drive in high gear (overdrive)

The engine runs most efficiently between around 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. To maintain these low revs you should change up through the gears as soon as practical and before the revs reach 2500 rpm. For automatic transmission cars,you should always switch on your overdrive to help save fuel.

Overdrivewill allow your engine to change gears at lower revs. It also puts your transmission into an "economy" mode and lets it engagethe final "overdrive" gear when cruising to!keep the rpms extra low, thereby increasing fuel economy.

7) Travel light

Avoid carrying any unnecessary weight in your car. On the average, every 50kg added load in your car will increase fuel consumption by 2%.

8) Anticipate traffic ahead

A driver can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% by anticipating trafficconditions ahead and adjusting the speed accordingly, and avoidingtailgating and thus unnecessary braking and acceleration. Accelerations anddecelerations waste fuel.

Braking and abrupt stops can be minimized by notfollowing too closely and slowing down gradually when approaching a redlight. It takes up to six times as much fuel to move a car from a dead stopthan it does for one moving at just a few km/h.

9) Avoid strong acceleration

The fuel consumption remains at a minimum during steady driving at amoderate speed of about 90km/h. Keep in mind that every time the accelerator is hard pressed, t! he enginegoes into a "fuel-enrichment" mode of operation thatwastes fuel. The vehicle should always be gradually and smoothlyaccelerated. Using cruise control on highways can help maintain a constant speed andreduce fuel consumption.

10) Minimise aerodynamic drag

Additional parts on the exterior of a vehicle such as roof racks andspoilers, or having the window open, Roof racks are bad for fuel economy increases air resistance and fuelconsumption, in some cases by over 20%.

11) Don't let your engine idle

Minimize fuel wasted in idling by stopping the engine whenever your car isstopped or held up for an extended period of time. Idling more than a minute consumes much more fuel than restarting the engine.

By having the engine switched off, you will save more fuel than is lost from the burst offuel involved in restarting the engine. The net increased wear and tearfrom this practice is negligible.

12) Use the air-con sparingly

Air conditioners can use about 10 per cent extra fuel when operating. However, at speeds of over 80 km/h, use of air conditioning is better for fuel economy than an open window